Career Stories is an article series about the people who work at Kindred. For this article we sat down with Kajsa Ericsson, Head of Facilities Management, to talk about her story at Kindred.
Tell us a bit about yourself Kajsa, what is your passion?
I’m 29 years old and I’m based in Stockholm. My biggest passion is golf: I love the moment before a round and the ambition to do your best. Every round is a new possibility to lower your handicap and you constantly play to improve yourself. Golf is a percentage game and just because you do a bad shot at some point, you can still turn it around. My motto is “It is not over until it is over. And when it is over you try again”, and thus, a bad day at the course never stopped me from coming back.
How would you describe what you do?
Every day is different, and I love it – in my job, there is no such thing as “a regular day”. My team is global, so I travel a lot to our main locations such as London, Malta, Stockholm and Gibraltar. It is my responsibility to streamline processes across Kindred’s main locations, and to support my fantastic teams to provide a best in class office experience, based on the facilities services we provide. In this, it is essential to constantly increase the facilities’ services portfolio in a highly competitive market, for both talent acquisition and talent development.
How did you end up in current position at Kindred?
I started my career at Kindred’s reception desk in Stockholm, as Office Manager and Finance Assistant. The role of Office Manager developed as the company grew, and after a few years I left the reception to focus solely on the role as Office Manager. From there, I have had the opportunity to work as Project Owner for the different Stockholm relocation projects whilst simultaneously elevating the role as Office Manager and ensuring the establishment of Facilities Management as a department within the group. I started in my new role as Head of Facilities Management just a few months ago.
It’s often said that learning is a lifelong process, how does Kindred help employees to develop and pursue new interest?
At Kindred, we have a mindset that developing our staff is something that is profitable in the long run. Employees who get the chance to develop their skills may still leave Kindred, no matter how much we have invested in them, but we understand that doing the opposite, i.e. not investing in our employees, will not help us in reaching the ambitious position we are aiming at. Great talent that leaves Kindred are welcome back after gaining more experience elsewhere, and a lot of people do! The open mindedness about wanting employees to succeed and become the best that they can be is something that is in Kindred’s DNA.
Kindred was recently recognized as a Great Place to Work by the UK’s Best Workplaces 2019. Why do you think 87% of employees think Kindred is a great place to work?
We are really good at celebrating success, which keeps us motivated and on our toes. We both receive and give recognition. Many bottles have been popped throughout my years at Kindred, which reflects our many success stories.
Kindred is proud to employ people from all over the world, what’s the best thing about working in such a multicultural environment?
I would say that you get the chance to work and become friends with people you would have never crossed paths with if it wasn’t for our broad area of roles, skillsets and nationalities. It is amazing how people’s journeys through life are shared during workhours. The diverse work environment helps us challenge each other, which is how we drive our business forward.
What is one moment that you will always remember from your time at Kindred?
When I got to meet Mika Häkkinen at the Malta Office opening party. The word was out that Mika, whom is a Kindred ambassador, would attend the party. I was introduced to Mika and I was completely star struck. One would guess how happy and proud I was when I texted my father and my sister the picture of Mika and I – they are also F1 fans. A colleague sorted out his autograph for me (I was way too nervous to ask myself) and it is still to this day framed and one of my favourite possessions.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone who is starting out their career at Kindred?
Push, encourage and challenge yourself and others, stand your ground and be open to change your mind. Together, we change the rules and that is how you and the company will grow and thrive. And have fun! Trust me, it is not hard in this company with the people you work with.